To continue its success a disrupter in the dairy industry, fairlife needed the ability to improve efficiency while accessing the most up-to-the-minute data from NetSuite and other business systems. When frustration with manual reporting processes boiled over, the fairlife financial team decided it was time to find a new solution; they needed a data visualization culture.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Visual Analytics Solution
“We’re a NetSuite customer, so when we looked at the different solutions, iCharts made sense for us given the native presence that iCharts has within NetSuite,” explains Brian Krosschel, finance director at fairlife. “And from a cost perspective, it’s a very cost-effective solution.”
The fact that iCharts can aggregate real-time data from multiple systems, not just NetSuite, was another point in its favor.
But deciding to implement a visual analytics solution was just the first step at fairlife. Next, iCharts had to be implemented, and team members had to start using it.
As Krosschel tells it, implementation was fast and virtually painless. “It was a fairly short process,” he says. “Within the first couple of weeks, we had our first 10 to 15 charts built out.”
Step 2: Getting Buy-In
Of course, the charts would only be valuable if employees starting using them. Some companies have trouble making the transition because spreadsheets are so ingrained in the culture. Luckily, this wasn’t the case at fairlife. The finance team really drove the process, and leadership buy-in happened quickly. Rather than wait for a weekly email recapping past performance, fairlife employees wanted to access information in real time, from anywhere. iCharts allowed them to access relevant data on demand, from any location with an Internet connection.
“When people see the value of information they weren’t able to get yesterday and they can get it anywhere, anytime, anyplace, [the change] just starts to flow through an organization,” says Krosschel.
Once iCharts was implemented, fairlife employees began to move away from a “download and email” mindset and toward a more self-serve approach.
Krosschel says that fairlife measures the value of iCharts by asking if employees are really engaging with the solution every day. “The answer is a resounding yes on that front,” he says.
Right now, Krosschel and another member of the finance team are focused on building the charts, but as iCharts gains traction, they plan to expand access. Krosschel says the process of building charts is fairly intuitive, especially after completing the initial training with iCharts. “Step one is creating the data set, which is pretty straightforward. Then in terms of visualizing that chart, it’s a short process. You can create a chart within five minutes, beginning to end, with no problem at all.”
Step 3: Expanding the Rollout
Because iCharts has delivered a clear return on investment so quickly, Krosschel expects fairlife to keep pushing the envelope by automating more processes and visualizing more information. They also anticipate a broader rollout and want team members to be able to visualize certain KPIs and metrics as they happen in real time.
“We’re going, and we’re going to keep going with it,” Krosschel says.
What Can iCharts Do for You?
To find out more about how fairlife implemented iCharts and improved efficiency within the finance department, watch our webinar, “Best Practices in Financial Reporting with NetSuite.
Is your company ready to capitalize on the benefits of visual analytics? Try the iCharts Interactive Demo today.